Yoplait: Truth or Trigger?


Yoplait, who created an ad where a woman negotiates with herself to be “allowed” a slice of cheesecake (“I could have a medium slice and some celery sticks and they would cancel each other out, right?”), has pulled the ad in response to complaints from the National Eating Disorders Association, which declared that the woman’s internal monologue wasn’t funny or realistic—in fact, it was the depiction of mental conflict that could trigger a person suffering from an eating disorder.

Kudos to Yoplait, of course, for responding appropriately to the situation. Illness aside, here’s a question for you: When the woman in the ad regards the treat and negotiates with herself, what is her actual intention when it comes to her own actions? Let’s break it down:

Half Truth: To justify eating the cheesecake, I’ll limit the rest of my day to celery sticks.

Whole Truth: I’ll consider the celery, but I’ll actually just eat the cheesecake and go on as per usual.

To be honest, we identified with that ad when it showed up in our browser. What unrealistically well-adjusted woman doesn’t second-guess a high-calorie indulgence in the middle of her workday? By nature, Yoplait’s position as a substitute treat and healthy lifestyle aid puts it square at the intersection of health and mental health. And that’s a hard place to be.

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April 13, 2024
by Mary Lou Quinlan

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